Ever since the world got to know the talented Tenille Arts, the Saskatchewan-born country singer has never failed to amaze the audience with her gorgeous voice and emotionally charged lyrics. Her third album, Girl to Girl, is no exception. Compared to Rebel Child and Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between, Girl to Girl adds an extra charm by sharing listeners a taste of personal life lessons.
According to Taste of Country, Tenille Arts’ third album collects personal memories and experiences. The tracks featured in Girl to Girl have been placed in chronological order based on Arts’ life. The Canadian singer-songwriter confessed that her album serves as a letter to her younger self. And, boy, do her songs pack some powerful meanings!
Arts’ current single, “Back Then, Right Now,” is the first song on the tracklist. ‘Back Then, Right Now’ offers a joyful nostalgic tribute to the Weyburn, Saskatchewan native’s “small town.” However, upon reviewing the lyrics, what makes “Back Then, Right Now” stand apart from all the other typical “small town songs” is the nostalgic symbolism behind that small town. When you pay closer attention to the lyrics, you can sense how coming back to that hometown offers a feeling of protection from the harshness of life. If you are puzzled by what I mean, I hope the other songs on the track can help you explain what I hear in “Back Then, Right Now.”
Many tracks on Girl to Girl share many messages with songs from other female country artists of this generation. For instance, the titular song from Art’s third album has many parallels with Carly Pearce’s Next Girl. Both pieces serve as lessons to the “next girl” or “girls” about potential red flags relating to dating a particular guy, based on personal experience. Both the songs “That’s My Friend You Are Talking About” and “High School Sweetheart” share similar contexts with Kelsea Ballerini’s “homecoming queen?” and “High School,” respectively. Those songs discuss the difficulties of fitting in according to society’s beauty standards and realizing how high school won’t last forever.
The similarities in Arts’ songs with some of the other ones do not make Girl to Girl unoriginal. In fact, I believe it amplifies Tenille Arts’ talented songwriting. What makes her album stand aside from the others because of the purpose of Tenille Arts’ album. Remember, Arts wanted Girl to Girl to serve as a letter to her younger self. Knowing the true meaning of the album, we can sense the regrets and wisdom Tenille earned from growing up and living away from her comfort zone.
The song that stunned me the most has to be “Growing Old Young.” The last song on Arts’ track offers a very sorrowful picture of witnessing the ups-and-down of being in a relationship from a young age. Without spoiling it, “Growing Old Young” does provide a silver lining from that living experience. Being able to put a positive spin on such a downhearted story perfectly illustrates Tenille’s maturity. The same goes for “Sweet Sixteen,” which challenged how a perfect life for a sixteen-year-old was powerful.
Overall, I feel Tenille Arts did a fantastic job in delivering this self-reflecting album. It is even more impressive considering how Arts managed to co-write all 13 tracks months following the release of her second album Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between. Girl to Girl offers the same joyful atmosphere and sorrowful lyrics present in Rebel Child and the spine-shriving melancholic singing in Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between.
I highly recommend Girl to Girl to both fans of modern contemporary country music and those who wish to experience the vast world of country music for the first time. Some of my personal favourite songs from Tenille Arts’ latest album include “One Bedroom Apartment,” “Heartbreak Regulars,” and “Give It To Me Straight.”
I would also like to recommend Girl to Girl to everyone experiencing many social dilemmas relating to relationships and the future. The themes and Tenille Arts’ personal experiences in Girl to Girl can help many Vanier students navigate some of their most arduous life endeavours.
Finally, I hope and expect that Girl to Girl will help certify Tenille Arts as a mainstream Nashville artist. Like the Taste of Country pointed out, with her last single, “Somebody Like That,” Tenille Arts is the first Canadian artist to chart number-one on the Country Aircheck country radio chart since 2007. I’m not surprised if Tenille Arts would score a second number-one hit with Girl to Girl. If she does, Tenille Arts will pave the way for future Canadian artists to make it big on Nashville.
By Jaques Wang